It’s been a month since I’ve posted an outfit, would you believe that! Spring has turned to summer in that time, and only the mornings are pleasant now. For summer ‘17, my primary style goal is to make the shift towards ethical, mindful, slow fashion. Coming from the scarcity mindset that the lack of options in plus sizes inevitably steers you towards, I always felt that ethical fashion sounded wonderful in theory but would be impossible to implement. And yes, I’d probably want to make the occasional purchase on ASOS (for example) but for the foreseeable future, I’m taking advantage of India’s dressmaking culture and getting everything I can tailored.
I went back to tailoring last winter after months of encouragement from Ushshi, for which I’ll be forever grateful because tailoring has fundamentally altered the baseline of how much I can do with clothing. I admit my motivations are rooted in selfishness - more than anything I’m dreaming of finally designing my dream wardrobe - at the same, given my current lifestyle, mindfulness feels natural to who I am. When I’m not working on blog-related stuff, I spend most of my time cooking, gardening, reading, and making things. It would be strange to not at least try to be mindful about the clothes I wear, considering how important they are to me.
Here’s what I’m planning to do this summer (and afterwards!) when it comes to my wardrobe
Shop locally and support local artisans.
Support independent makers with my wallet instead of big brands.
Recycle clothing in my wardrobe, which is to say wear stuff I’ve hardly ever worn instead of buying more. I’m especially guilty of this one because I tend to stick to just 5 or 6 pieces at any given time and then keep on replacing them with new ones.
Shop sustainably whenever possible, like vintage or second hand pieces instead of new. This is actually something I’ve been doing since I first started shopping online (I think about…15 years ago?) Some of my all time favourite pieces are second hand scores off eBay like my Brit Stitch satchel and Anthropologie jacket. Buying second hand clothing might not sound as glamorous as buying, say…organic, fairtrade clothing, but it’s a cheap, easy and useful thing you can do towards building a sustainable wardrobe. Whenever I buy second hand or vintage clothing online, it’s almost always from eBay (or Etsy) UK so I can get it delivered to my fiance and he can bring everything over in one go when he comes over. I would feel pretty awful flying over clothes one at a time halfway around the world even if I could afford to.
Invest more in quality pieces I can wear over and over again, now that I have a core wardrobe to see me through.
There’s also the fact that I can afford to do this now. There haven’t been a lot of times in the past 5 years that I could. Not to mention the question of access to a good tailor and the time needed to go fabric shopping and basically getting whatever I want to wear designed from scratch. Sometimes it takes a fitting session after the clothes are made to ensure that they sit well on my body. It’s time consuming and more expensive than buying the cheapest stuff on sale online and taking advantage of free shipping. It’s only recently that I’ve been able to afford both the budget and the leisure to do so.
I’m so obsessed with smock dresses I rarely wear any other kind these days! This is one of the two midi smocks I’ve gotten tailored recently. Ikat is such a springy and fresh look, and a pattern I’ve always loved. If you’re looking for similar styles in natural fabrics, there might not be a lot of options in retail but Etsy is one place where you’ll find dresses in a similar aesthetic. Sondeflor Shop and OffOn Clothing, both on Etsy, have many bohemian smock styles in custom sizes.
My shoes are also from Etsy, and I’ve gotten quite a few questions about them on Instagram! They’re from a shop called Bonjour Store, who are actually based in Jaipur. Having worn similar pairs in my childhood, I was expecting them to be the hard leather kind that you need to break in. I was pleasantly surprised when these sandals turned out to be really, really soft with padded insoles. I love how they look like clogs but feel so different on my feet. I also got a pair of strappy sandals from Bonjour Store that I’ll planning to style next, and I’m thinking of stocking up on some more styles from them over the summer!
My top is from ASOS, way back in 2011. I’ve styled itmore than onceon the blog and worn it many more times than that, so it exceeded #30wears a long time ago. The vintage purse has been on everydayrotation in my wardrobe since I got it. The pear pin that isn’t quite visible in photos is still a pretty little addition IRL and is salvaged from a dress I bought in 2007. I’ve linked to similar products on the widget below so you can re-create this look for yourself if you like!
Munnar, Day 4: No journals were kept on this day for this day was a pain in the ass. Almost a month later, as I sit down to recall the series of memorable buttaches that comprised this day, my predominant impression is that of cold. How cold it was, how cold! The hotel shunted us out in an auto at 6 in the morning, claiming apocalyptic strikes and road barricades. 11 kilometers of bumpy hill-riding later, we reached a shady motel in town where we decided to rest our feet and bags. Following which, Munnar completely failed to rise to the occasion, remaining sleepy, tranquil, and pointedly strike-free for the rest of the day. I wanted to dress for travelling, so I picked the comfiest possible outfit from my greatly diminished pile of clean clothes. Then we heard rumours of a flower garden in the neighbourhood, so Mooshu had to be pressed into action with the camera.
A couple of things I was grateful for that day: my tweed blazer from Sumissura and my Unique Vintage tote which doubled up perfectly as a carry-on bag. Rarely have I worn clothing that’s been tailored to my exact measurements, and the difference is ever so surprising and pleasant. We wandered around the garden, took a mini hike to a ‘sightseeing point’, napped in the shady motel bed, and slept through 12 hours of two different buses in hills, forests, and finally the long dusty plain. My jacket became a pillow, a comforter, a blanket to hide in from the mountain blast, a window shade against the highway lights. I was a wayfarer and that jacket, my towel. We saw the stars that night as I’d never seen them. The milky way like a sheet of galactic dust stretching from hilltop to hilltop, merely an arm of the spiral faint with starlight old and new, but so immediate, tangible, the star crown of our little slice of the universe. If the ancients were obsessed with the stars, seeking patterns, prophecies and portents in them, they did so for a reason. Seldom have I felt such profound nothingness in my being as I did that night, my consciousness extinguished as the pinprick of a dying star, a dust trail dissipating dim in the nether reaches of the cosmic dark. The stars alone were worth the journey, and after them everything else felt incidental.
There were meals to hunt down, drunks to ward off, language barriers to overcome and a house to be cleaned when we got back - the fine print of daily life that weighs us all down in its infinitesimal details. Later, there are meals to cook and outfits to blog and precious nuggets of time that Moosh and I spend together before I bundle him into a taxi in a blur of tears, and eventually, as the days trickle past, I forget that night we drove through the forest, and I forget the stars. Yet in times when the world ebbs away from me, and I’m left alone in the echo chamber of my head, I think of the galaxy. I think of the night forest, and the dome of the universe arched above our heads, the wash of light dusting across it, and I think of what filled my puny little heart to bursting then. It’s stardust I think, the stardust in my bones, calling me home to the infinite.
instagram THIS is the image that was reported by fat shamers and trolls, and YOU deleted it.
HOW is this image being hateful, hurtful, abusive, trolling or obscene? Do 3 fat girls in swimsuits equate to gore, porn, racism, sexism? Or is it that people only want to see slim girls in swimsuits?
IF this image is reported and deleted again, please trust that I WILL pursue this matter just like @rupikaur_ did when her image of lying in a period stain was removed.
I am so disappointed and beyond livid right now. No Thanks to you and the people who had the gall to report this image, for making me feel so badly this Monday morning about my existence as a brown fat woman.
My dear friends on social media, if you would like to help, please do so by reposting this image and sharing this post all over social media platforms, as many as you like.
I actually wore this dress for my first ever post on this blog! That was something like 5 years ago, and I styled it pretty much the same way. Which makes me feel very, very old. It’s warm and springlike here with occasional thunderstorms, so I felt like embracing all the boho wows again ❤